Posts Tagged ‘Japan Pavilion’

Explore the Japan Pavilion’s Newest Exhibit – Kawaii: Japan’s Cute Culture

by on October 29, 2015

In the Bijutsu-kan Gallery at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot is a brand new gallery exhibit called Kawaii: Japan’s Cute Culture. The new exhibit explores how all things cute have become a way of life with the Japanese culture through use of artifacts and art.

Throughout the room, you’ll see how kawaii culture has become a fundamental part of Japanese life at home, at work, and at play. Kawaii is rooted in Japan’s Shinto past, and is a means of self-expression.

Cute really is everywhere in Japan and that is what this exhibit attempts to showcase. I was able to make a stop at the Japan Pavilion to take a peek at what the showcase has to offer and wanted to share it with you all.

Japan 1

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SATURDAY SIX: The Six Most Interesting, Most Unusual, and Strangest Souvenirs in EPCOT’s World Showcase

by on June 13, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Six Most Interesting, Most Unusual, and Strangest Souvenirs in Epcot’s World Showcase. After last week’s article on the Six Best Snacks in World Showcase, we’re going stay in the same area and look at another underrated part of Epcot; all the unique gift shops. This is the one theme park in Orlando, if not the world, where you will not find the same old stuff. Outside of the Norway Pavilion, it’s pretty much impossible to find any Frozen merchandise and you will have to go to Future World if you want the Disney Parks merchandise you will usually see at the other parks, Disney resorts, or Disney Springs. It’s a breath of fresh air and there are so many incredible items throughout World Showcase. However today we are not going to look at those. Instead we are going to look in the nooks and crannies and find the six most interesting, unusual, and strangest items starting with….

# 6 – Panda Sitting On a Toilet (China Pavilion)

While World Showcase is filled my with great shopping experiences, by far and away my favorite area to browse is at the Yong Feng Shangdian Department Store in the China Pavilion. It is a gigantic store packed with some of the coolest and most unusual in all of WDW. Wall of actual swords? CHECK. Intricately designed wooden ships? CHECK. Jade sculptures? Gorgeous Chinese dresses? Paper fans and chop sticks? All here. This is a store you could spend the better part of an hour just walking through and checking everything out. It also may contain the most amount of panda related items in Florida. Panda stuffed animals, keychains, coffee mugs, earmuffs… you name it, this store has it. The greatest of all panda items is this Panda Siting on a Toilet toy. Who knows why it could possibly exist, but aren’t you glad it does?


Panda has to be reading a collection of the SATURDAY SIX, right? Only thing that makes sense.


Wait a second. SOLAR POWERED?! Now I’m going to have to buy this to see exactly what it does. Will report back Dear Readers.

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SATURDAY SIX: The Six Best Snacks in Epcot’s World Showcase

by on June 6, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Six Best Snacks in Epcot’s World Showcase. By now you know we love theme park snacks. From the iconic Mickey Bar and Dole Whip at the Magic Kingdom to the outrageous Brain Freezin’ D’oh-nut Sundae in Springfield USA, we can’t get enough. Today we are going to the holy land of all dining in Walt Disney World, Epcot’s World Showcase. Yes, you know about the incredible restaurants like Via Napoli and bars such as La Cava del Tequila, but we are going to take a look at the underrated dining aspect of World Showcase: the snack department. Everyone has their favorite, so let’s start off the list with….

# 6 – Hand Twisted Pretzel – (Germany)

No offense to the Mickey pretzel but this is THE pretzel to get in Walt Disney World. A hand twisted pretzel in Germany is in fact almost the perfect snack because it’s; A) Easy to eat while touring the park B) Big enough to share C) Is something almost everyone in your party can enjoy D) Goes great with an ice cold beer. Good news on the last point because as luck would have it Germany is also one of the best places to get a beer in World Showcase. How convenient! While we recommend the Oktoberfest brew, you can’t go wrong with the Grapefruit Beer either.


Pretzel and beer? Who wouldn’t be smiling. (photo by Brandon Glover)


Hand twisted pretzel and Altenmunster Oktoberfest. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Snacks Around the World Showcase – Japan

by on July 29, 2014

Mickey Pretzel and Plastic Cheese

Mickey Pretzel and Plastic Cheese. Perfection.

When Epcot enters the conversation, the first thing many people mention is eating (or drinking) around the world. While there are many worthy restaurants scattered around the World Showcase with a wide variety of different foods to try, there are also many pre-packaged snacking alternatives to tempt an adventurous diner.

In addition to interesting snacks to be eaten while in the park, those packaged snacks make great souvenirs. They are relatively inexpensive, won’t take up much space in luggage, and make a different sort of present to bring home.

Instead of just showing the different options, I decided it would be much more interesting to turn snacking into a challenge. Since the World Showcase has so many options, there had to be some parameters in the snacking quest. There are 11 countries represented in the World Showcase portion of Epcot, which could get expensive quickly if you are to get something in each country. In addition, since the point was trying new things, I would avoid things that are readily available in the United States or things that aren’t particularly strange. Finally, I wanted it to be something I was actually willing to try.

So, here are the rules for the World Showcase Snacking Challenge:

  • No snacks over $10; preferably less than $5
  • As unusual as possible
  • Something I personally would eat

Let’s get started!

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Disney World Pick-A Pearl FAQ

by on March 31, 2014

Have you ever wondered about the big pools of water on the counter in the middle of the Japan Pavilion at Epcot? That’s one of the Pick-A-Pearl stations at Walt Disney World. Here’s what you need to know.

Pick-A-Pearl station at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

Pick-A-Pearl station at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

What’s a Pick-A-Pearl?

The name is pretty self explanatory. At a Pick-A-Pearl station, you’ll find a large, shallow tank of water with several oysters placed on the bottom. At the station, you choose (“pick”) an oyster to buy. The cast member at the station opens the oyster in front of you, the pearl inside is yours to keep.

Is the Japan Pavilion the only place to do this at Walt Disney World?

There are actually four places to Pick-A-Pearl at Walt Disney World: inside the large Mitsukoshi store at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, at a kiosk at Downtown Disney near the Pin Traders outpost, at a kiosk at Typhoon Lagoon, and at a kiosk on the pathway just outside the Stormalong Bay pool area at the Yacht & Beach Club resorts. While the general Pick-A-Pearl concept is the same at all the locations, they are operated by different entities, so some details may vary.

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Japan refurb and drummer displacement

by on January 9, 2009

The Pagoda at the Japan pavilion in Epcot will be refurbished in the near future. A plan for relocation of the Taiko Drummers who perform at the base of the structure is unknown currently – there may simply be no shows at all during the refurbishment. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

Japan rumors coming true?

by on June 6, 2008

Disney has recently filed permits to work on the massive unused (for anything other then storage) show building which resides at the rear of the Japan pavilion in Epcot. No details are known, though coincidentally the Mitsukoshi department store chain which sponsors the pavilion is undergoing many management changes as it is being purchased by another department store company in Japan. The deal is supposed to be finalized in September. Perhaps this all means we’re looking at a new and improve Japan pavilion in the future?

Japan temporary dining options

by on April 29, 2007

To compensate for the closure of the Mitsukoshi restauarants (there are technically 3 up on the second floor) at the Japan pavilion in Epcot, new kiosks have been installed on the World showcase promenade.

These kiosks offer samplings of food typically offered at the restaurants and even mixed drinks. The area is worth checking out if you’re unable to get your fix of Japanese food during the closure.

The Mitsukoshi store on the lower level continues to operate, as does the Tin Toy galley in the rear. The rest of the pavilion is extensively under tarps for the duration as the roofing is repaired and new backstage/cast member areas are created and refurbished.

Refurbishments should end around August 20th.

Journey into Narnia closed

by on October 5, 2006

The Journey into Narnia walkthrough at Disney-MGM Studios has closed. The facility housing the attraction is scheduled to reopen, according to, on November 10th, however the various walkthrough attractions featured in this venue are not known to be presented for more then a single season – implying a new or updated attraction may take Narnia’s place.

Refurbishment of Japan shows Progress!

by on May 21, 2006

After months of hiding behind tarps, the work on the Japan pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase is showing signs of progress.

The highest point of the pavilion is now uncovered and showing excellent attention to detail in the ornate gold work and a deeper jewel-like blue tone (possibly the original color without years of fading) of the building’s roof.

The Yakitori House counter service dining location has now become surrounded by the refurbishment walls, but continues to operate normally. There is no known completion date for the pavilion’s refurbishment.